Saturday, January 08, 2005

The Great Sykes Revival...

Eric has a moment of misery, but Hattie sees the funny side.

The original Sykes series began in 1960 and ended in 1965.

In 1972, the series was revived with Eric Sykes and Hattie Jacques reprising their roles as twins sharing a house in Sebastopol Terrace, Acton, and Richard Wattis as their prissy neighbour, Charles Fulbright Brown.

Later, local magistrate Miss Rumbelow (Joy Harington) took over Mr Brown's role as next door neighbour. Deryck Guyler, who had also appeared in the 60s series, was highly popular as Corky the policeman (hear his voice in a famous 1980s ad series
here), and Joan Sims, as Madge from the breadshop, made occasional appearances. Madge dreamt of getting Eric ("Ricky") to the altar!

The 2000 book Sykes of Sebastopol Terrace, tells us:

A revival of "Sykes" was set up by the BBC during the Spring of 1972, and it was quickly agreed that the series would be both colour and far longer than any past seasons. With 16 episodes to fill, it was agreed that Sykes would basically rework old plots to fill the new quota....

They're the same stories retold for a different audience.

Mr Brown has Sykes dancing attendance after injuring his ankle in 1961...

... and again in the 1970s!

Sykes was a very welcome revival, which ran until 1979. Hattie's death in 1980 put paid to hopes for further episodes.

Other 1970's revivals of 1960s series included: The Rag Trade, Till Death Us Do Part, The Saint, Oh Boy, Juke Box Jury, The Avengers and Steptoe and Son.

More about the original 60s Sykes
here.